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Mary Teegee receives Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medal
As a member of Takla Landing, within the Carrier Nation in northern BC, Mary Teegee is a proven leader within her community as well as in the field of First Nations family health and wellness. Her longstanding leadership experiences as a negotiator and executive director for Child and Family Services, are changing the face of how health and wellness services for Indigenous people are developed and delivered across Canada.
Ms. Teegee’s Executive MBA Indigenous Business and Leadership program’s final capstone project encapsulates her qualities as a meticulous researcher, a proficient writer, a committed team member, and a visionary.
As Deputy Chief of her Nation, Teegee served as the chief negotiator on several fundamental important initiatives such as forestry, fisheries, land use, in and around her community. Teegee is also the executive director of the Carrier Sekani Family Services, serving previously as the representative for the Northern BC Ministers Advisory Council for Aboriginal Women. She was instrumental in organizing the Highway of Tears Symposium leading to the development of the Highway of Tears Recommendations Report. Mary also produced an award-winning documentary titled, “Highway of Tears”.
Teegee shares what her project means to her and her community:
"Our project is the Carrier Sekani Child and Family Jurisdiction Model. Carrier Sekani Family Services provides health, primary care, Child and Family, research and other holistic services to eleven First Nations in North Central BC. Our project provides a model of jurisdiction that allows our Nations to assume their rightful place as decision makers for their children. The foundation of the model is the Carrier Sekani Child and Family Well being Act which is developed based on our traditional laws and governance system (the Potlatch). The model also provides clear roles and responsibilities for Leadership, more specifically the Chief and Council and the Hereditary Chiefs and matriarchs. Decisions made in the best interest of a Carrier Sekani Child will be based on wellness indicators and outcomes that will be developed in collaboration with the nation members and existing research.
The model also provides dispute resolution mechanisms and a legal structure to uphold the Carrier Sekani Laws.
Of course all the work required to breathe life into our own laws and realize the vision of the model will be conducted based on our cultural practices, traditions values and principles. All the work will be done in collaboration with our nations."
The project could not have come to fruition wihtout the input, experitse, and collaboration of many people. "The Capstone project couldn't have been completed without the expertise of the team: Warner Adam, CE0 of Carrier Sekani Family Services; Ian Simpson; Sarah Weddell; and Wayne Hall. Dr. Joy Cramer provided guidance as my advisor," adds Teegee.
SFU Beedie School of Business' Associate Dean, Graduate Programs, Dr. Andrew Gemino, has high praise for Ms. Teegee and all that she is able to accomplish. "Mary is committed and passionate. She is grounded in her Carrier teachings and believes that higher education is essential for moving First Nations towards becoming strong, healthy, sustaining communities. Mary has become a beacon of hope and is truly at the helm of bringing long-lasting and deserved change to the Indigenous community."
Mary Teegee is currently serving as the Executive Director Child and Family Services at Carrier Sekani Family Services and the President of the BC Aboriginal Childcare Society. She oversees the integrated services to children and families, including delegated child welfare, prevention and intervention programming in accordance with legislation, directives, policy standards, and approved procedures.
Mary would like her Dean's medal dedicated to her son, Noah Teegee and her niece, Miranda, both of whom died during the second year of her studies.
- SFU Faculty: Beedie School of Business
- Project: Whu Neeh Nee – Building a new Carrier Sekani Child and Family Well-Being Model